So this is Lizzie. I've had her for years and she's been my trusty sewing and fit companion that has saved me many pin related injuries - even though she's not quite the same shape as me. She's your typical adjustable dress form that has exposed fit dials and gaps between the plastic plates when you adjust it. The problem is, Lizzie's getting a bit worn and ugly looking. Adjustable dress forms tend to be fairly ugly to begin with so I figured I'd make Lizzie a new dress. Or, uh, skin? It was incredibly easy and didn't involve a serger, even though we're working with stretchy material.
DIY Adjustable Dress Form Slipcover
Drape fabric onto the dress form and pin one side tight starting from the arm hole and going down to the bottom of the form. Leave a little extra material hanging on the bottom.
Pin the other side of the dress form so the fabric lays smooth and tight across both the front and back. Work or stretch the material as needed to make sure everything is nice and smooth.
Optional - I used chalk to draw a line over the pins on each side to make it easier to see when sewing. This way I was able to follow the chalk line as well as the pins for a smoother line.
Sew the sides together using a loose zig zag stitch. You don't want to use a straight stitch here since the fabric will stretch and the thread won't, which can result in wrinkles and pulling. A zig zag stitch allows the fabric to move and stretch a little so you can easily get the cover on and off your dress form. Trim the excess fabric.
Put the tube of fabric back on your dress form inside out, matching the seams up with the sides of the form. Then start pinning the shoulder seams, starting at the outside shoulder and working your way up to the neck hole. Again, work the fabric so there are no wrinkles or tucks when you sew it together. I also used chalk to mark the seams here.
Sew the shoulders together and trim the excess fabric. Leave the neck hole open (you can sew it closed, but the top of my dress form has a nifty little pin cushion attached and I wanted to be able to access that).
Put the cover onto your dress form right side out. Trim around the neck and tuck in the edges to make it look pretty.
Then take a needle and thread and run a very loose gathering stitch around the bottom of the material. Pull the ends of the thread tight so the extra material on the bottom is gathered up under the dress form. Tie off the knot.
And there you go - an easy dress form cover without a serger! Lizzie's off to hang with Bill until she's needed again. (His name is Bill as in Buffalo Bill. Even though he's a cow, not a buffalo.)
I'm Sarah, a textile, history and sewing enthusiast. I talk about contemporary and historical fashion, sewing, patterns, tutorials, home decor, and anything else you can make with a needle and thread. I love books and am happy to talk your ear off about historical clothing.
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